2020 Game 2 — Michigan 24 Michigan State 27 – Week 2 Recap

Now what?


Final Score: 24-27, Michigan State by 3 over Michigan
SP+ Projection: Michigan by 19.2 (-22.2)
CD Projection: Michigan by 45 (-48)


WEEK 2 RECAP vs. Michigan State

There wasn’t a huge turnover margin problem.  There was no hurricane or snow storm.  Michigan State outplayed Michigan and won the game in Ann Arbor.  That is the sad, brutal truth.  The most important question now has to be, “What is next?”

Joe Milton looked like a new starter.  He wasn’t bad, but there were problems with reading the defense in the pass game and the run game.  There were inaccurate throws, deep and intermediate.  The biggest difference this week was almost no explosion passing or running.  To really understand why these things are true, I need another review of the play on the field, and that’s going to have to wait a while.

Defensively there are two main issues: one was discussed ad nauseum by the FOX broadcast, and one was not.  We heard Gus Johnson & Joel Klatt keep calling out MSU’s advantage outside with their WRs versus Michigan’s CBs.  I am absolutely shocked the Spartans were able to make the plays they made, but I’ll tip my cap on two or three of those catches.  The other main issue was almost a total absence of pressure on Rocky Lombardi.  The MSU offensive line that gave up 12 (!) TFLs to Rutgers (!) in week one, kept their QB clean today versus the Wolverines.  That fact alone carries most of the water when I have to explain how I missed this prediction by 48 points.  I did not think we would see a clean jersey on Rocky Lombardi.   

Back to the drawing board for Jim Harbaugh and his staff.  The offensive game plan got major kudos last week, and this week seemed handcuffed.  The defensive personnel concerns that fans had from training camp at CB seemed unfounded versus Rashod Bateman last week.  This week they got torched by Ricky White.  I knew 2020 was going to be a crazy season, but still got totally rope-a-doped in this one.  Shame on me.

About Clint Derringer

@clint_derringer on Twitter U-M B.A. Sport Management & Communications ‘05 U-M M.S. Program & Project Management ‘18

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